OGDENSBURG Bands, trucks and floats have paraded through Ogdensburg for more than 50 years, and families have made the Seaway Festival Parade an annual tradition. Saturday was no different.
Weve been coming to the parade since we were this high, said Debbie A. King, reaching down to her knees.
My father used to dress up as Abraham Lincoln years and years ago. Its been a tradition since forever, she said.
The marchers gathered near Ford and Champlain streets to follow the 2.5-mile route toward State Street. The parade began at 11 a.m. with members of the Hitmen Brass Band, Rochester, decked out in sunglasses and fedoras and leading the way.
Spectators sitting on lawn chairs, porches and tailgates lined Ford Street.
I went to high school in Ogdensburg, and I never miss a Seaway Festival, Gloria J. Knowlton, Goshen.
Many others shared the same dedication.
David M. and Ashley R. White recently returned to Ogdensburg from Oregon, where they were attending college.
We moved away, and it seems like a north country tradition to come back and see the parade, Mrs. White said.
The theme of the 2012 Seaway Festival is Let the Music Move You, and bands were out in force. Clowns banged on drums, bagpipes blew and a military band marched in lockstep.
I like the Army people, said 5-year-old Tanner Smith.
Marching bands from the same area high schools that competed in last Sundays Battle of the Bands at Ogdensburg Free Academy took up their instruments for the parade.
Theyve practiced all summer and they are great, said spectator Ruth E. Lincoln, who works for Morristown Central School.
Lisbon Central School took first place in its class, with Heuvelton in second and OFA taking third, reversing the outcome of last Sundays battle.
The scores of these bands are so close that any one of them could win on any given day, said Seaway Festival Chairman Christopher S. Cole.
Morristown Central School took first place in its class, with Lisbon taking second.
Floats by area businesses and organizations represented 1950s diners, African jungles and a giant red Solo cup. Jugglers kept balls and pins aloft as they marched, and clowns threw candy to children.
As the years pass, the parade remains an Ogdensburg constant.
Im 35; Ive been here every year, said Brian A. Lalonde. I really dont think it has changed a whole lot, which is nice, he said.
Mr. Lalonde now brings his children to the parade, where he can relive his own childhood memories while sharing them with his kids.